Wednesday, January 28, 2009

28 January 1955 "Early Rise, The Blues, The War, and Wonderland"

January 28- The United States Congress authorizes President Dwight D. Eisenhower to use force to protect Formosa from the People's Republic of China.

The Formosa Resolution was a bill enacted by the U.S. Congres on January 28, 1955 that established an American commitment to defend Formosa (Taiwan). As a matter of American foreign policy, President Eisenhower promised to protect Taiwan against invasion by the People's Republic of China. The legislation provided the President with the power to intervene if the island was attacked.
The legislation was prompted, in part, by attacks on the islands of Kinmen and Matsu in the Taiwan Straits by the Chinese People's Liberation Army in 1954. Both islands had been held by the Chinese Nationalists government of the Republic of China led by Chiang Kai-shek, which then also controlled the island of Taiwan. Kinmen Following the enactment of the Formosa Resolution, the People's Republic of China and the United States successfully negotiated an agreement to stop the bombing of the islands in the Taiwan Straits. This peaceful result ended the First Taiwan Strait Crisis.
I was feeling a little blue today.
A sort of melaise swept over me.

The day started out fine enough, though it started early. Hubby had to leave early to get to the city for some business and the impending snow storm in the city was enough to cause him an early leave. I started my day at 6:30 am. Everything went as normal. I made lunch while boiling oatmeal and making juice and toast. I set the table and put coffee and tea on. I fed the dogs and was at the dinning room table as usual. Maybe just having everything just a bit off threw me.

After clearing up the dinning room and doing my morning dishes, I thought, I am going to take a little morning break, as I would just be getting started. I sat down to watch a bit of some old 1950's home movies we had found on youtube and put on a disc. I really think that was it.

You know the type: Old super 8's of someones vacation or xmas set to music, often sappy. There was one some children had done for their parents showing the two of them in their respective home states preparing for their wedding, then the honeymoon, etc finally their three children at young ages. I found myself crying. I suddenly felt left behind or somthing.

It is odd, as I realize I am NOT living in 1955, but I am REALLY immersed in it. I know I am typing on a computer right now, but it might just as well be a typewriter. My fiction and magazines and decorating books, all from the 1950s. Heck, even my manuals to care for my new parakeet are from the 50s. My music and any tv and movies I watch all 1950s. It starts to become normal, second nature. The human animal quickly adapts. I just saw all these silent smiling faces in full skirts white gloves and hats and thought, "that's where I am suppose to be". I really felt as if I was Rip VanWinkle and had just awakened to find all my family old and the world changed.

I don't know, maybe this project really can get to you.

The resulting day left me staring out the window watching the snow turn to rain.

A friend stopped by around 4:00 and it perked me up. I thought, "I cannot just sit and mope I have things to do. I am still catching up on ironing, because let me tell you rolling up damp clothes in towels and then starching and ironing, is not a fast task. Maybe I will get better at it.

So, I checked my daily list. I had to do the bedroom today, vacuum and empty and organize my closet. Took down our shower curtains to bleach and wash. Straighten and vaccuum the living room. I got going.
After my friend had left and I had stopped from my flurry of late day 'catch up' I was playing, I realized there was a package on the kitchen table. My friend had got my mail for me and there was somthing. I tore it open and it was my 1944 House Beautiful I had ordered. I promised myself literature and study in the 1940s for more context to where I am mid 50's.
A pot of tea later and I am feeling better.

It is so interesting to see the ads for women joining the service.
Here is a Wamsutta (bedding) ad asking women to join to allow a man to go to the front.
Here we see a father leaving his son in a radio ad.

Even a bookshelf takes on the import of father's return.

These show how easily it must have been for women to set down the rivetor, take off the trousers and put on the crinolins and make a home. The concept of those we love suddenly gone and possibly in danger of their own life is inconcievable. It is an odd feeling. It brought me out of my funk. It not only made be 'buck up' and get 'back to it', it took some of my blues away.

I have always felt a little out of my present time. I think anyone who likes vintage feels that a bit, a sort of romantic fondness for 'what was' even if we weren't there. I wonder, though, if I have stepped through the looking glass with this project? Am I going to find myself even more out of step with my peers and really feel very like Alice: wondering why every five minutes we have to change places at the tea table, or how skewered the world around me seems.
I only wish there was a bit of mushroom or a bottle of somthing to drink to help me. The question is, which side of the looking glass would I want to wake up on?
Let me know, if you have the time, am I crazy doing this project? Does it have merit? Sometimes a gal needs to know.


  1. It may be a littlt bit crazy but it's also VERY exciting and I am more than a little bit envious!
    This will be one of those things you forever look back on fondly!

  2. I hope that you are keeping a journal of all this (an old fashioned journal with pen and ink) You will have it forever and it will be a great read in the future. Stop by my blog and join my new group "Crazy about Cookies"
    I will have a new recipe to try each week on Sundays.

  3. I just realised that perhaps my last comment sounded a little rude.
    When I said it was a litle crazy I did not mean that in a disparaging way and perhaps crazy was an incorrect choice of words.
    Rather I should have said it is extream, but then if something is worth doing then it is worth doing well! I'm tempted to do a similar experiment myself except I am not lucky enough to be in a position to do so :(
    Thankyou for stopping my my Blog too.

    I can hardly wait for the Opera outfit pictures!

  4. I'm sorry you had such an emotionally exhausting day!

    I don't think you are crazy for doing this project. I do think that anyone who fully committed themselves to such a project would be forever changed by the experience. Whether that change would be negative or positive, would depend on the person and their individual circumstances.

    Keep talking about your feelings, whatever they may be, to those people in your life you trust. We would dearly miss hearing about your insights and experiences if you decided you needed to stop the project. That said, you and your continued good health are the first priority.

    Take care,
    Hairball :)

  5. No, it is not crazy at all! In essence, you are becoming an expert of 1955 and I am more than a tad jealous of this adventure you are on!

    We're here for moral support when you need it :)

  6. I think that you are doing a wonderful job. If I could I would but living in a small town I think that I would raise a few eyebrows!!!! I am a fifties housewife without dressing like on, I wear dresses and skirts ( more like Bree Vandercamp) and even that raises eyebrows.

    So my advice would be surround yourself with friends and remember at the end of the experiment you can always come back, or you can stay. The most important thing is to talk and every now and again go and get a manicure and your hair done ( women would be at the salon once a week to get these things done.)

  7. yes, but sometimes I get like that and I'm not even doing any kind of social experiment... I think it's just a natural part of living...

  8. 50SGAL ~ It is wonderful to enjoy an era, but unrealistic to go back and live there on a daily basis. You experience the sadness, loneliness and feelings of being left behind because you are not living in the present. Appreciate everything the 50's were, but free yourself and put your focus, energy and relationships into living in today.

  9. Wow-thanks for all your wonderful comments. They all are encouragind. In fact, I woke this morning with a renewed interest for the project.
    Sunrise-you are probably right and I am being unrealistic, but I love it!
    Thanks all.

  10. Sounds to me as if it may be a case of the mid-winter blues. I spent the better part of my life in New England and by the end of January you can start to feel very sun and outdoors-starved! Now's the time to do some dreaming and planning for your garden and spring wardrobe. Maybe find an indoor botanical garden where you can get a mini summer fix. Hang in there! You're learning so much you'll be able to apply to better your life in the modern world when "1955" is over.

  11. No, I don't think you're crazy for doing this project. But I can understand how you may feel a little like you're in limbo - living the 50's while not really in it, in 2009 without really being in it either. You're bound to have off days, but that's just human nature no matter what era you're in.

    I think your project puts you in a unique vantage point - you get to experience the physical and aesthetic parts of the 50's, and through research learn about the good AND bad aspects of that era. In turn you can use that knowledge to really see what's good and bad about our present year from a perspective others won't have. And, find out more about yourself as well....which you're already doing.

    I really admire you taking this on. As someone else said, we can be your support group (not a 1950's concept - but you have to make some concessions, right?). :)

  12. I think these projects are always a good thing. When I was in college, I took a WWII history class that deeply impacted me and forever changed my life (and set me on the track of loving the 1940s). We actually had panels of housewives from the war, survivors from Pearl Harbor and the Bataan Death March, a Rosie the Riveter, the first female WASP, and even two hollocaust survivors. It was a rare day I didn't leave with tears in my eyes.

    You'll have a new found appreciation for what our world was going through back then, and you'll probably have new appreciaiton for some of things we have now. Either way, I believe you'll be a more gracious person for all your hard work, and graciousness is something we should all learn.

  13. 50's gal -- sounds like a little SADD is creeping in. I think everyone gets a little reflective (notice I don't say depressed!) during these grey, cold winter days. Cheer up, better days are coming. Here's a quote for you:

    "If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." Anne Bradstreet

  14. No matter what type of lifestyle you live, you attract a circle of friends that you relate to in a personal way. As you change, your lifestyle will reflect that in regards to who you hang out with, the stores you shop at, the restaurants you eat at, your hairdresser, etc. You will be inclined to go to the places that accept who you are, even if they don't live their life exactly like you do. This is true for all of us, no matter what our lifestyle is. As far as being concerned about isolating yourself from others, you could always modify the way you dress when you go to places where you would receive raised eyebrows. For example, when you go to the mall, wear a cute dress that looks like something a person would wear today, but leave the hat and gloves at home, and wear your hair in a current style. When you go to lunch at your favorite diner with your friends, or visit the elderly, go all out. It doesn't need to be all or nothing. If you love the styles and fashion of the 50s, and that really is part of what makes you YOU, yet you are realistic to the fact that you don't want it to create isolation problems, just adapt to each situation accordingly. At home, you can do whatever you want! :) Have you come to any conclusions for yourself since you last posted?

  15. I love your project...I think if we were friends IRL I would probably join you in it!

    You know, I have found most of my life has been spent marching to the beat of a very different drum. I grew up as a missionary kid in a place where world war 2 was still very evident everywhere around us, even in the 1980's. So even in present day real life, with no 1950's project you can have the same kinds of feelings about life and feeling different.

  16. I think its wonderful and very courageous what you're doing. You say you were feeling in a bit of a left behind state - but anyone who is interested in vintage styles feels that every now and then. The present will always be there for you when you're ready for it, and you'll always have 1955 - everything you collect and wear - that you can go back to whenever you want.

  17. WOW! Thank you so much ALL OF YOU for all your kind and supportive words! I am actually feeling much better today, though it was a busy day, and I want to keep going. We all have blue days!

  18. You know I think what you are going through is called "culture shock". Similar to the feeling one gets when in a very different country. In my opinion, a little culture shock is an excellent thing as it allows you to step back from "normal life" and appreciate things from a different perspective and with new eyes. What we find may make us happy, sad or otherwise; but it will always make us richer for the experience.

  19. This is a very worthy project and I wish I could do it! The Old Testament says in Proverbs "don't ask why the old days were better than this...such questions are not wise." That was Solomon's natural wisdom. In the end times, which I believe we are in, however, the New Testment warns us that "things will wax worse and worse." That is why projects like this are good. They make us long for good things.


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